By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes
McNary rolled on Thursday, Jan. 18, defeating McKay 51-12 and West Salem 55-15.
But the Celtics couldn’t carry that momentum over to senior night, falling to North Salem 42-30 on Friday, Jan. 19.
“We wrestled way better yesterday than we did tonight and I’m not talking effort,” McNary head coach Jason Ebbs said. “I’m talking about technique. There’s certain mistakes that we made tonight that we simply did not make last night and they were fatal mistakes.”
Senior Brayden Ebbs (170) opened Friday’s home dual, his final at McNary, with a pin in the first period. After North Salem won the next two matches by major decision and pin fall to go ahead 10-6, senior Blake Norton (220) earned a pin in the second period to put the Celtics on top 12-10.
But North Salem won the next four matches, including a forfeit at 106 pounds, to grab the lead and never let it go.
At 126 pounds, McNary junior Enrique Vincent pinned his opponent in 30 seconds. Senior Jerry Martinez then earned a pin in the second period at 132 pounds. The Celtics final six points came on a forfeit at 145 pounds.
Senior Josiah Christensen led his match 2-0 at 152 pounds before getting pinned in the second period.
“That’s one of those matches, if those guys wrestle 10 times, it goes 5-5,” coach Ebbs said. “Those are two guys that are probably equally matched.”
The Celtics lost two matches, 285 and 138, by 3-0 and 4-3 decisions.
“The most important thing that needs to matter right now is they need to know what those mistakes are and we need to fix them and we need to turn that into consistent behavior and we do that in two weeks (at districts) and we’ll come back after this team,” coach Ebbs said. “They’ll know we’re coming.”
Grady Burrows (106) and Tony Castaneda (113) were out with injuries.
“We’ve got people who could make us a little bit tougher but I’m very happy to have the lineup we had with us tonight based on everything we’re dealing with,” coach Ebbs said.
McNary honored all eight of its seniors before the dual: Ebbs, Martinez, Norton, Christensen, Joe Collins, Noah Grunberg, Alex Harrison and Isaiah Putnam.
“That stuff is always special,” coach Ebbs said. “That stuffs more important than who won the senior night dual. Some of those guys are first-year wrestlers, some of those guys are four-year wrestlers. Some have been wrestling for half their life and I’ve known them for half their life. The bonds that we form here are a little different than most teams. That makes our senior night pretty special.”
The Celtics earned five pins against McKay on Thursday: Vincent (126), Castaneda (106), Norton (220), Randal Nordberg (182)and Garrett Wampler (170).
Martinez won by a 16-6 major decision and Grunberg added a 15-0 technical fall.
McNary won four matches by points. Christensen won 12-7 at 152 pounds and Ebbs edged his opponent 6-4 at 160. Collins earned a 3-2 victory at 285 and Rigoberto Hernandez won 13-9 at 113.
Wampler, Norton, Hernandez and Jaydin Gomez all had pins against West Salem. Grunberg won a 16-4 major decision. Martinez and Nick Hernandez each won by one point, 7-6 and 9-8. Castaneda added a 10-3 victory in the rout.
The Celtics travel to West Albany on Thursday, Jan. 25 for their final league dual of the season. The district meet is Feb. 2-3 at McKay.